Week commencing 3rd January 2022

The BBC carries a story of a campaign to elicit a public apology for the witch trials between the 16th and 18th centuries in Scotland which resulted in the execution of an estimated 2,500 people accused of witchcraft under Scottish law at the time, most of them women. The Witches of Scotland campaign group are calling for exonerations and a statement of apology from the Scottish government to mark this year’s International Women’s Day on 8th March.

News service Religionnews.com reports on how one of the oldest halal restaurants in London, which opened in 1939, has survived the pandemic. As the business struggled, a Tweet from the owner’s son to highlight the restaurant’s plight went viral and ensured a return of customers.

The Guardian reports that the Taliban have banned women from using bath houses in Afghanistan, which has sparked anger in the country. Hammams – public bath houses – are sometimes the only method of accessing warm water for washing and is a traditional way of social gathering.

Also in the Guardian, the Pope is quoted as saying that people choosing pets over having children is ‘selfish’ and it ‘diminishes us’.

Al Jazeera reports on the arrest of a man in India for developing an app that ‘sells’ Muslim women.